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Coalition Provisional Authority 

Contact: Joseph Frazier

April 20, 2004

2004 Baghdad Mayoral Selection: City Council Members Select Tamimi, Two Others.

Baghdad – Earlier this week, Baghdad City Council members, District Advisory Chairmen and District Advisory Vice-Chairmen cast ballots for the future Mayor of Baghdad. Dr. Alaa Mahmood al-Tamimi, a 52-year old Iraqi engineer, prevailed in the process. Dr. Omar Farooq al-Damaluji placed 2nd, while Dr. Faris Abdul Kareem Kubba came in 3rd. The council’s selection awaits Ambassador Paul Bremer’s confirmation.

Council members convened at Baghdad City Hall, known as the “Amanat Baghdad” in downtown Baghdad’s Russafa District Sunday morning at 10:00 to begin proceedings. A total of forty nine participants with voting authority had gathered. That voting group was comprised of City Council members and District Council members. Several observers from CPA as well as reporters representing Iraqi and international media outlets also attended.

Each of the eight candidates was given 20 minutes to present their qualifications to the council, and then answer questions. One candidate, Eng. Ali Radhi al-Haydar withdrew his nomination while delivering an impassioned speech to the Council Members. He cited his passion for educational reform, and proclaimed that he could not perform his duties at the Education Ministry while simultaneously serving as mayor.

Although three rounds of voting were originally scheduled, the Council overwhelmingly selected Dr. Tamimi after the first round. Seeing such consensus, Council Chairman Mr. Khudeir Abbas Nasser called for a resolution to accept the results from the first round as final. The resolution was accepted, and the council adjourned.

The successful mayoral selection process concluded several weeks of intense negotiations among Council members who courageously constructed the nominating rules and voting guidelines solely for the purpose of determining the mayoral selection procedures.

The selection of Tamimi brilliantly illustrated that, despite difficulties lurking in particular areas of Iraq, consensus championed divisions among the council.

The City Council Selection Committee initially received 93 applications for the position of mayor in response to a highly publicized advertisement campaign in local Baghdad newspapers and other media outlets. From that group of applicants, twenty-eight were deemed to have fully satisfied the advertised criteria. Ultimately, the selection committee whittled down the number of applicants to eight, and submitted their names to the full council for consideration.

The exceptionally well-qualified finalists (listed in alphabetical order) included six PhDs, and seven with engineering backgrounds. They were: Dr. Ihsan Mohammed Lutf Allah Shirzad, Dr. Alaa Mahmood al-Tamimi (1st), Eng. Ali Radhi al-Haydari, Eng. Omar Rasheed al-Qaraghuli, Dr. Omar Farooq al-Damaluji (2nd), Dr. Faris Abdul Kareem Kubba (3rd), Dr. Fa’iq Abbas Tawfiq al-Bidhawi, and Dr. Hisham Hameed al-Ani.


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